Titnagas - TAU Projektai

Titnagas

 

Creative Workshop
1989-2016 y., Titnago st. 10, KlaipÄ—da
My story with the building on Titnago street nr. 10 started in 1989 -1990. Once upon a time, while dealing with some matters with chief architect Almantas Mureika, I got an inquiry whether I do not need a creative workshop. I needed the space, so I clamped on that hook.
I remember it was spring when I first visited the site. Nature was freshly awakened. I arrived on a Port street, nicely paved with stone. On the crossroads, the remnants of an old advertising post were visible within a background of a huge old ash tree foliage. Someone was busy gardening the grounds, a smell of grilled meat was in the air. My eyes were hurting from the vivid yellow flower field. Though the city center near the industrial harbour, however felt like a village. And here, a ghostly and abandoned house was standing with a small tower (more like turret) on the street side, though this turret barely holding up and seemed to crumble any minute now. A venture and excitement chained me to this place that very moment.
But how to fix it, where to start, for what ??? Many questions, no answers, but …. I soon rented this ruin. First, I covered the windows with boards protecting the survived value from thieves and began to organize the restoration project. Together with fellow architects Algis Sviderskas and Edmundas Andrijauskas went though a troublesome process which led me even to Vilnius the head of monument preservation, colleague Vytautas Zubovas, who helped considerably. Later on followed a tiresome contruction work, though over the course of 5 years I gradually finished and settled.

Evolution

There were 15-20 people working in this building at the same time, of which perhaps 10-15 young architects. More than 200 different projects for the city have been prepared here. Young architects were taking first steps in an architectural practice here. We have been working and creating for the city here.
Over the course of time, building materials, technologies, requirements have been evolving, so in the course of 30 years, this building has “suffered” another two major reconstructions. The last and most serious one in 2015-2016.

 

Quite some changes were planned: roof and facade insulation and decoration, replacement of windows, heating, water supply, sewerage, electricity systems. All done carefully, though has been a challenge..
Anyway, in the fall of 2016, we returned to our “creation”, were we settled down.
History

 

Once upon a time it was one of the most densely populated suburbs of Klaipeda. This house stood in the very center of an old Vite district.
Photo around 1930-1940. At the end of Staliu Street, on an intersection with Titnago street an old ash grows.
On the right side of the street an authentic lamp-post.
On October 4th, 1854, a two-day fire arose in the village. The fire completely burnt the dwelling house standing in this place. The new building (still standing now) was built in the last decades of 19th century . It is believed that his owner was an English-born trader or someone involved with shipping. Asymmetric volumes of the house, a free plan structure was typical of the modern era, which prevailed in England at that time and came to our shores later.
Another distinguishing feature of the house is that the first floor is made up of blocks of different shapes and sizes of sandstone, and the second floor is made of bricks.
Until 1989, despite its several reconstructions, its architecture and plan structure changed slightly over the centuries. Large rooms were divided, sanitary facilities were installed, places for firestoves and door openings changed.
However, in 1989 the part of the house was demolished, and the building belonging to the Seamen’s Union was left to the will of fate. Thus, until 1991, the house was devastated: windows, doors, floors, chimneys, partition walls were torn down.
During the years of Soviet rule in KlaipÄ—da, the port fostered plans to expand its territory. The Soviet understanding of expansion was brutal and simply done at the expense of the city territories. Around 1970-1980 the turn of the historic Vitte district inevitably came. The urban structure that had evolved for several hundred years was sliced off the city, as with a knife. Buildings demolished, a New Harbor street was planned and built. The inhabitants of the buildings were evicted, and the buildings themselves were left in the hands of fate. Some of them fell by themselves, some were demolished. Some of them however had survived, more beautiful ones have been waiting for new hosts. One of them, in Titnago street was handed over to the Sailors Union, but they apparently didn’t need it and did not care.
Moments